In many ways, pets are just like children. They need others to bathe them, play with them, and feed them, and take care of them. And just like children, they also tend to be picky with food!

All the way from Netherlands, a new pet food enters the Philippine market to help humans give their animal companions all the necessary nutrients in just one bite.

Vigor & Sage, a premium pet food brand popular in Europe since its establishment in 2016, officially arrived in the Philippines in February. They offer a tasty variety of food for both cats and dogs that are gluten-free and made from natural ingredients.

“Unlike any other pet food [brands], Vigor & Sage uses the purest natural ingredients with beneficial herbs in its recipes. They are tasty meals that have amazing health benefits for cats and dogs,” said Kirill Repin, Vigor & Sage International’s global business development director. “In fact, we call it ‘fine dining with herbs’ for pets.”

Healthy for the tummy

The company spent a long time researching the eating habits of cats and dogs. They combined proteins with herbs to produce a well-balanced range of food products suitable for animals.

“[An] important thing to consider about pet food is what goes in it,” Ricky Santillan, general manager of Rubicon Crossings, told Animal Scene. “We studied the process of making pet food and [what’s really] important is for it to be gluten-free and grain-free.”

Gluten in pet food may cause diarrhea and poor hair coat, while grains may cause difficult digestion, added Santillan.

“The protein is the main [ingredient of the pet food], and the herbs compliment the protein. So, think of it like tea,” said Luis Mercado, president of official distributor Rubicon Crossings. “For those who drink tea, they drink it because it helps with the digestive system. It energizes you, nourishes you, and it relaxes you depending on the type of tea that you use. The same concept works with herbs.”

Different types of protein sources, such as salmon, turkey, and chicken, were combined with herbs, such as seaweed, ginseng, lily root, wolfberry, and green tea, among others.

Ginseng can help prevent congestive heart failure, cognitive dysfunction, and stress. Seaweed can help remove heavy metals from the body, while wolfberry prevents joint issues, especially among senior pets.

“Vigor & Sage incorporated these herbs in order to combat the free radicals that our pets encounter every day. So, the antioxidants are not only important for us humans, but also our pets,” said Dr. Maricelle Licuanan, founder and veterinarian of the Philippine Pet Birth Control Center (PPBCC).

Proven and tested

Mercado, who brought the pet food brand to the Philippines, first heard about Vigor & Sage from his wife while they were vacationing in Europe.

“We brought home a few bags for Bruno, [our pet pug], and after transitioning to Vigor & Sage for about three to four weeks, my family noticed a change in his breath and poop,” Mercado narrated.

Jojo Isorena, owner and founder of dog training facility BetterDog Canine Behavior Center in Makati, also tried the product with his animal companions and was happy with the results.

“The dogs loved the dog food. They ate every variant and we have proof of that in the video,” he said.

Vigor & Sage is currently available at PPBCC, as well as online via Mog and Marley (, a premium retailer for pets that delivers free of charge within Metro Manila.

This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s May 2019 issue.

To know more about the product, visit Vigor and Sage.

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